How to Pray with Others

Praying with others can mean praying with one other person or a group of people.  While praying alone is our primary means of communicating with God, enlisting others to pray with us can strengthen our prayer life.

We gain fresh perspectives and new insights from hearing others pray aloud about our concerns. We are also comforted by the realization that others care about the things we are praying about. Praying with others encourages an entire group to focus attention on a single issue. It also makes us aware of others who share common concerns.

How to do this prayer practice:

1.  Silent group prayer.

You can pray with others through silent, group prayer.  Each member of the group lifts up prayer concerns, and a time of silent prayer follows. Lighting candles or playing soft music can be conducive to a reverent, prayerful atmosphere.

2.  Pray out loud.

You can pray out loud with your prayer partner or prayer group. Those who are uncomfortable vocalizing their prayers in a group setting can continue to offer silent prayers while others pray as the spirit moves them.

3.  Pray Scriptures.

Prayer groups can pray scripture. Scripture verses are passed around to prayer participants, who then take turns reading their scripture passages. The passages can stand alone as a prayer or can be followed by a brief prayer related to the scripture message.

4.  Hold hands.

Prayer participants might choose to hold hands during prayer.

My personal experiences and tips:

When praying out loud with a prayer partner or group, I usually begin by thanking God for the wonderful gift of our friendship. Then I lift up my partners’ concerns and ask God to bless them in specific way related to their requests.

When praying out loud with prayer groups, I have found that praying scripture is especially effective and powerful. There are scripture passages to address every situation we could ever encounter, and knowing how God’s Word deals with the issues we are facing can be a great comfort and guide to us as we seek answers to our prayers.

How to fit this prayer idea into your schedule:

Sometimes busy schedules prevent us from praying with prayer partners or in groups as often as we would like.  But we need to remember that these prayer times don’t have to be long and drawn out. Meeting briefly for prayer can be a powerful and uplifting interlude.  If our schedules just do not allow us to attend a prayer meeting or get together with a person in need of prayer, we can lift up prayers together on the phone. I have done this many times with people in immediate need of prayer. Making time to pray with a prayer group might be more feasible if the group decides in advance that prayer sessions will begin and end at a certain defined time. Then, those who need to leave may do so without feeling as if they are disrupting the group. Those who want to continue praying as the Spirit moves them for as long as they feel led to pray can do this after others with time constraints have left.

The Biblical origins and traditional roots of this method of prayer:

Jesus stressed the value of group prayer when he said, “Again, I tell you, that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:19-20)

Believers have recognized the importance of group prayers since the earliest days of Christianity, when prayer meetings preceded the birth of the church. Following the ascension of Jesus into heaven, the apostles returned to Jerusalem, where they joined Jesus’ brothers and several women in prayer.

An example of the tremendous power of group prayer occurred on the day of Pentecost. A small band of believers had gathered together when the Holy Spirit came upon them in a dramatic way. A sound like the blowing of a violent storm filled the house. Tongues of fire separated and rested on each of them. Suddenly the believers were able to teach the gospel to people in their own languages. We are told in Acts 2:42 that the believers devoted themselves not only to teaching and fellowship, but also to prayer. Throughout the New Testament, prayer is central to the rapidly growing church. Followers sought contact with God through their worship together, receiving God’s empowerment.

copyright Bebe Nicholson 2011 all rights reserved